Greene King this morning revealed it has made an operating profit of £236.2m – and after seeing profits rise in Scotland by 18% during the second year of the smoking ban – said results gave 'encouragement for future prospects'. The Suffolk-based brewer and pubco's chief executive Rooney Anand told M&C Report: “I think the results in Scotland show that there is life in the industry after the smoking ban. “All the detractors are frankly overblowing the situation. “The fact is when times are good, then good companies should trade excellently and when they are bad they should still trade well. Bad companies trade bad when times are good and when times are bad they might not survive. “The same can be said for pubs,” he added. “I think we have had a long run of healthy times and unfortunately when things get worse you find a premium of people being proved right with some negative predictions. But I believe that some of the negativity that surrounds the industry is far too excessive – as our results show.” But, despite revealing that Greene King had been given the go ahead to pursue reit status he said he remained to be convinced that it was the right thing to do. “We need to ensure it does not take away our flexibility,” added Anand. In a statement Green King said the 8% increase in operating profit for the year ending May 4 was due to a 5% rise in revenue to £960.5m. Profit before tax at the pubco – which last year bought the Loch Fyne brand of restaurants – was also up 2%, at £142m. Also in the statement Anand, said: "The year saw an unprecedented set of challenges for the industry but I am pleased to report exceptional performance across the business. “Our results in Scotland, with operating profit up 18% in the second year of the smoking ban, give me some encouragement for future prospects in England. “The economy is not likely to improve in the short term, and we are not immune to the difficulties this presents for our market, but we are better placed than many others, thanks to the resilience and flexibility of our business and our team." The company added that it had opened five more Loch Fyne restaurants since purchasing the company in August 2007. The average number of outlets trading in the past year in the Greene King Retail division – which is made up of Local Pubs, Destination Pubs and Loch Fyne – had increased from 781 to 801, Green King added. Revenue for the division increased by 6% to £578.7m and operating profit increased to £116.5m, a jump of 7%. Commenting on the retail division Anand said: “All businesses made meal deals more prominent, many houses delayed passing on the Chancellor's budget increases in beer duty, and, facing a strong Euro, we introduced more dollar-traded wines. “We made major savings from rationalising both menu items and ingredients, energy savings have mitigated increases in power costs, and we have removed Sky from a number of pubs where it made economic sense to do so. “Food and food-related sales now account for half of our Retail sales and food remains our top priority for sales growth. We have learned much from Loch Fyne on development planning, kitchen design, customer profiling and direct marketing.” Greene King said that revenue was up 2% to £167.2m at its tenancy and leased division called Pub Partners. It said an average of 1,443 sites traded over the year. At the start of the financial year, 1,417 pubs were trading. A further 53 sites were added from acquisitions, mainly New Century Inns, while 12 were sold and 17 transferred in from the Retail division, with one going the other way. The group ended the year with 1,474 pubs. Belhaven – Greene King's Scottish division, which operates in managed pubs, tenanted/leased and brewing – delivered an 18% increase in operating profit during the second year of the smoking ban north of the border. Anand described the operating profit of £27.5m as 'outstanding'. He said that growth came from the repositioning of a number of specialist pubs to appeal a broader audience. Profits were down by 6% at Greene King's Brewing Company to £21.6m Last week the company also revealed it had secured a second tap of £350m investment grade bonds.